Self-trained necromancer Snow secretly sells her services to raise the dead so that she can someday raise enough money to get out of her dead-end Maine island and away from her dead-head mom and her assortment of criminal friends.
But when she’s out raising Colonial Buck, Silas, the sexy golden boy of her high school tries to save her and is killed by a demon contained to cemeteries and who is collecting souls for his return to the world of the living. Distraught, Snow mourns Silas only to find him reanimated and trying to figure out how he could possibly be . . . dead?
A family curse.
An angry ex-girlfriend.
And Snow’s increasing desire for Silas complicates finding Silas his answers and stopping the demon.
If they can’t stop the demon from killing more people, it won’t be just their hearts that are broken, but the barrier between the living and the dead . . . forever.
If you love YA fantasy, good necromancers, and ill-fated, opposites-attract romance, get ready for an action-packed love story that will make you keep your lights on.
If you know me, you know that I have a tendency to say things that have sexual connotations without realizing it until it’s far too late.
And to make it worse, once I realize that I’ve accidentally said something naughty? My whole face breaks into an OMG expression. My eyes get big. My eyebrows are so ashamed they try to hide in my hairline and my mouth usually gapes open.
Keep that in mind.
My publisher once sent me to Toronto because one of my books was up for a big teen book award for best kiss, I think.
So, when I disembarked the airplane in Canada (after the lady in 7A got in trouble) I had to go through Customs, where I embarrassed myself in front of the very attractive man who looked a lot like him:
How did I do this? How did I humiliate myself in front of he who shall now be known as Very Attractive Customs Man?
Well, when you enter Canada, the Very Attractive Customs Man will look at you, look at your passport, look at you again, and say, “Why are you entering Canada?”
And if you are me, you will try to remember the three categories on the sheet that you can check off, which are something like:
1. Business 2. Leisure 3. Something Else that I can’t remember because I have lost too many brain cells
And if you are me, you will be nervous for absolutely no reason and blurt out, “Pleasure.”
Pleasure, my friends, is not on the list.
I think that maybe I blurted this out because I couldn’t remember the word “leisure.”
And if you are me, this word will make you conjure up images such as this:
And if you are me, you will get the Horrified Carrie Face and stare at Very Attractive Customs Man and go, “Oh! Oh no! Oh my gosh! That sounds so naughty, doesn’t it? I swear it’s not like that! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! ”
And if you are me, Very Attractive Customs Man will stare back at you blankly for three seconds and then he will start laughing uncontrollably. He will start laughing so hard that he will bend over at the waist and HOLD HIS STOMACH!
And if you are me you will stand there and turn red.
This is proof that you can be an author and still be a total dork. So fellow dorks, take heart, you can still have your dreams even if the execution of those dreams becomes terribly, terribly embarrassing.
ALSO I HAVE A NEW BOOK COMING OUT!
It’s super fun. An adult paranormal/mystery/romance/horror blend. Think Charlaine Harris but without all the vampires. Instead there are shifters and dragon grandmothers and evil police chiefs and potential necromancers and the occasional zombie.
Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.
Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .
But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.
Join New York Times and internationally best[selling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.
It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s kind of like Charlaine Harris, but a little bit more achy and weird.
The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!
Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .
When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.
Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?
What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.
To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!
Share this if you want and also because it would be super nice of you!
Sometimes, I have an author interview where the author is a bit shy about being recorded for a podcast (so understandable because I’m actually like that too), but the author is just so wonderful, that I have to interview them anyway.
That’s the case with Timothy Stone and his debut novel.
Here’s the blurb:
Emily Lau is a normal girl with a normal life. She goes to school, has a best friend, argues with her parents, and daydreams about being a hero. When her aunt shows up with a gift, Emily’s life will never be the same. Her family has a secret, and it’s everything she’s ever dreamed of.
Magic is real. Not only that, Emily is descended from a long line of warriors. Her aunt starts teaching her the family martial arts, and Emily thinks she’s going to be just like the heroes in all her favorite stories. But if heroes are real, then so are monsters. Her family has enemies, and they’re coming for Emily. She was just getting used to her new life. Will she get to keep it?
This was the first question on the list, but probably one of the last ones I answered. To be honest I don’t remember the very first book that made me cry. The first book that comes to mind is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness/inspired by Siobhan Dowd. I remember that one destroyed me. I read it once years ago and I just read it again a couple of days ago. It left me in tears again.
When you write does it make you tired or does it make you energized?
The best answer I can give to this question is, yes. It really depends. Some days I get super energized while I write and I just want to keep going and I write a ridiculous amount. Other days it feels like I’m forcing words out. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I force myself to write when I don’t feel like writing and eventually I settle into a rhythm without realizing it. Sometimes I feel tired after I do this though. When I’m energized I feel like I can keep going. When I force the words out it feels like my brain needs a break at the end of the session.
What is your best tip for avoiding writer’s block? Do you believe in writer’s block?
I’m going to be confusing with this answer. I do believe in writer’s block. And I don’t think it’s something you can avoid. I don’t think writer’s block is strictly a thing only writer’s experience. I think anyone can get a block when they’re trying to do something. And I mean creatively, in sports, anything. I think the trick is to not believe the block. This is where it gets confusing. Yes I think blocks exist, but the way to avoid it is to not believe them.
It’s like the answer to the question about writing while tired. You just keep working until you do it. There’s this anime called “Haikyu!!” that I watch. In the latest season one of the characters is asked for advice on how to do something. He responds “Just keep trying until you can!” I feel like that really resonates with writers block and any time you feel like you can’t do something. At least it does for me.
I watched someone who played college volleyball react to one of the episodes and she talked about something called a “fixed mindset.” It’s when someone feels like they are at the limit of their abilities and nothing they can do can change the situation. She goes on to say that a fixed mindset isn’t helpful for anyone. She says what you need is a “growth mindset.” This is when you view challenge and failure as an opportunity to grow and learn. That if you put the work in you can get better.
That being said, I’m terrible at following my own advice/listening to myself.
What does writing success look like to you?
I’m not answering these questions in order. This is probably the third question I answered but it was the first one I read where I felt like I knew the answer immediately. I think I’ve known the answer to this for a long time. I don’t know if I’m going to explain this very well. I’ve had this picture in my head of me in a setting. Sometimes it’s an airport, sometimes it’s a coffee shop, or a book shop. I’m just minding my business and then I see someone sitting reading my book. I don’t know why but it puts a smile on my face.
How scary is it to have your first book ready to go out into the world?
WAY SCARIER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE. I thought there was going to be this magic moment where I just knew that it was ready, but there hasn’t been one yet. I feel like I’m running around in circles with no idea what’s going on. I’m sure you can tell how nervous I am about it, Carrie. Every time I send my book to someone to read I get anxious about it. It’s like I’m giving them part of my soul and I’m just sitting here hoping they’ll like what they see.
Your soul is so beautiful, Tim. I promise.
Have you always wanted to be a writer or are you stunned that this magical thing has happened and you’ve written a book?
I have always loved stories, but it took me a bit to realize I wanted to write them. The first time I remember wanting to be something was in third grade. I wanted to play for the Lakers. I was not a good basketball player. I’m still not. Then in middle school I wanted to be a lawyer. It wasn’t until high school that I started to get into creative writing. It was just something I did for fun though, I never thought about writing a book. At least not seriously. Eventually I graduated and started college. I got a job working in athletics and decided definitively that I wanted to work in athletics. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a sports agent or an athletic director or what. I think college is really when the idea of being a writer took hold of me.
I remember being really bored in a history class about Thomas Jefferson. So, I decided to start writing something that had been in my head. Before I knew it I had a chapter done. Two days later I was in the same class and it was just as boring so I started writing again and suddenly I had two chapters. I didn’t think about it too much until my cousins found out and asked to read it. I sent it to them and they loved it. Then it hit me. Could I be a writer?
I’ve worked other jobs since college, but the whole time I was trying to find the answer to that question. And I think I have.
Your book has amazing magical elements. Did those come naturally? And have you always been interested in magic?
If I’m being honest, probably not. I like to think I’m being unique, or as unique as possible, but I love stories in pretty much every form of media. Books, comics, manga, TV, movies, anime, games, etc. I think I’ve become a sponge of everything I’ve ever seen or read.
And I have always been obsessed with magic. Not just magic though I guess. Magic, superpowers, science fiction, all of it. I would say 90% of everything I read or write has some sort of fantastical element to it.
Some of my magic elements I’ve had in mind for a long time and I finally got to use them. Others were born of convenience. I needed a way for something to happen, or a place to exist, and the easiest way to explain it was “magic.” That feels a little lazy but also genuine.
What was the best part of the writing process for this book? The worst?
The best part for me was when I suddenly got a random idea for my story that made me excited to sit down and write. I mean those moments when you’re doing nothing related to writing whatsoever, or when you’re stuck and then suddenly you get the perfect solution to the problem. Then everything just works.
Also, when I finished my first draft for the first time. It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I remember when I finished it, I just started laughing to myself for no reason. Then I ran around the house for a little bit and told my closest friends.
The worst part was rereading it after I finished. The first time was great, but then I read it so many times that I got tired of it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved going back and reading it to make it better. I just hit a point where I got burnt out reading my own book. I started questioning if I could read at some point.
Your book is so lovely and inventive. It’s got a great family story, a buddy story, and a huge adventure.
Without giving too much away, can you tell us who Meihua is and where you got the idea for her from?
This is probably one of the more difficult questions for me to answer because I feel like anything I say about who she is might be a spoiler.
Meihua is a guardian. She protects the people that she cares about. She’s that friend that everyone would love to have, but would be terrified to anger.
The idea for her was really random. I was talking to my friends one day about our favorite childhood movies and I mentioned The Iron Giant. I had seen a tweet at some point where someone said The Iron Giant was the best Superman movie. I tried looking it up to link it, but I couldn’t find it. I did find interviews though where Brad Bird said that the movie was based on the premise “What if a gun had a soul?”
What was the most surprising thing you discovered while writing Emily’s story?
Probably how much it changed. I recently looked back at my notes and conversations with a friend and the story is very different from what it used to be. Emily and Meihua’s origins. Everything. I’m not the most organized person with my notes so I’m not sure where it all came together and I got to the where I am today, but I am so glad that it happened. The story I have now is so much better than what it was when I started.
Also how easy it was? Don’t get me wrong it was difficult. There were days I absolutely had to force words out. But there were a lot of days where things just flowed and felt easy. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to write the story. The ideas just kind of came to mind while I was writing this book and suddenly I had a grand plan.
Can you talk a little bit about Emily and her cultural identity and family and how that’s interwoven into your narrative?
So, Emily is Asian American, like me. Specifically she’s Chinese American. When I set out to write this I didn’t plan on writing the Asian American experience. I was struggling at the time to write something that felt “true” or that I was really proud of. I finally decided to follow the “write what you know” advice and started writing an Asian American character in a setting I knew. I wrote Emily with the experiences I had growing up. She doesn’t speak Chinese because I never spoke Chinese. The food she eats is what I ate growing up. And even the family dynamic is similar to mine. The glaring difference being that I have siblings and she doesn’t.
And when I first started planning it things were very different than how they turned out now. But I remember my friend had recommended I read some wuxia novels. Wuxia I believe translates/means “martial heroes.” It’s kind of fantasy fiction about martial artists in Ancient China. Around the same time Jin Yong’s Legend of the Condor Heroes series was being translated into English. So I picked up the first book and enjoyed it and then I wanted to watch martial arts movies. I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and The Assassin. Eventually I thought “what if I mixed martial arts and magic.” That’s kind of how this story came along. It’s more a “traditional” fantasy story with some martial arts elements to it.
AND IT IS AMAZING.
Okay, If you didn’t write books, do you think you’d have to find a way to channel your creativity?
Honestly, after having written one, I’m not sure I can imagine doing anything else. I have all these stories in my head and I feel like I have to tell them. I’ve always had stories popping in and out of my head, even when I was working full time or when I was in school. Something would just come up and I would start writing it at school or when I got a free moment at work. I’d like to think I would find a way to channel my creativity but I feel like I only think in stories. Everything I want to do is story driven. If I didn’t write books I think I would like to write the story for a video game. Which I hope I get the chance to do someday.
What was the hardest scene for you to write?
There were a few. One of the most difficult for me to write was the first chapter I think. The very beginning. I knew how I wanted it to end. I knew all the big and little things that were going to happen along the way. But I didn’t know how to start it.
I guess I wasn’t sure how to finish it either. I had an ending in mind, and you saw it, but it wasn’t that fulfilling. You helped me fix that!
I think training scenes were hard for me to write too. I felt like I really had to get into the nitty gritty of it and explain things as best as I could without making it too constricting. At the same time I didn’t want to pretend to be an expert on wuxia elements because I’m not. I’ve only read a few books. Most of my knowledge comes from the little I’ve read and the movies I’ve seen. I didn’t want to do a disservice to an amazing genre of fiction with my lack of knowledge. So I put in things I wanted to have in the story without getting too technical.
There are others but I want the readers to be able to experience them first.
Do you have a website or social media so that readers can find out more?
Timothy Stone was born in Southern California to an American father and a Chinese mother. He writes fantasy and Emily Lau and the Plum Blossom Sword is his first novel. It took him a while to put pen to paper, or keystrokes really, but he got there eventually. He attended university and graduated with a degree in history from Cal State Fullerton, but part of him has always wanted to tell stories
Share this if you want and also because it would be super nice of you!
On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.
He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990sor Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂
Today is a rarity. Usually, I am begging my brain for ideas to write about, but today, today I seem to have a plethora of ideas. Now my problem is which one to pick!
Since today is Carrie’s newest book’s birthday, I have decided to go with the one that I thought of last night. Mind you, this was not an “idea” so much as a direct quote out of Carrie’s mouth.
Last night, Carrie was talking about her book release for October, The Treasures We Seek and how excited she was because she got to actually work on it yesterday. Then she wanted to tell me the overall premise of the book and I, as the world’s best husband responded, “Please dear, do tell, I have been waiting for this moment, with baited breath, for an eternity!”
Carrie smiled a big smile and released the basic premise of her book with a verbal flourish that would have made Niagara Falls jealous. Then, right when she has hit the good spot, the sweet spot we have all been waiting for … nothing.
I said, “What happens when…?”
Carrie responded with, “You will have to read and edit the book for me to find out what happens!”
I started laughing and looked at Carrie expecting her to laugh too. Nothing. Dead serious she was!
And you know what? I can’t wait to read that book and edit it to the best of my limited middle school ability! For the past few months, Carrie has been on a quest to self-publish one book a month until December on Amazon.
She has tasked me with being her editorial assistant. I won’t mention that I also format the books for all versions that Amazon offers, but I love having the opportunity to read Carrie’s books first.
I don’t have much to offer, my grammatical skills are rudimentary, but I am really good at continuity of plot and sequence. So, I read every story that is to be self-published and I help in every way that I can. I also create a character bible because most of her stories are sequels and you know, you have to keep track of those characters and those characters’ arcs.
So yeah, I have to help edit the books to find out how they end. But, man am I lucky! I am lucky to be able to find out what happens before it does. Cause nothing in a book happens until it is officially publicly published, right?
And, it’s just like life. You must read the book, the script, and make constant edits, constant adjustments, if you want to be able to find out what happens. Don’t be a life diva, listen to your internal editors and make those changes. Don’t be scared!
Go edit something and remember to always Love Your Way Through It,
BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!
Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.
Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.
LET’S HANG OUT!
HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?
MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?
And thank you SO MUCH to all of you have been so lovely and supportive about this little story. It’s really not like most of my writing, but it’s helped me win a couple of awards and things and it’s a story of my heart. Those are always so hard to release into the world.
The soul-wrenching story starts here….
Becca’s young life is about to change when she meets a boy in the playground, a boy who seems too magical to be real. Barely surviving at home, Becca’s new friend quickly teaches her what it means to have hope and faith.
A compelling novella that’s sure to resonate from the international and NYT bestselling author.
It’s a really emotional small story so if you have any childhood abuse or trauma you may not want to read it.
Share this if you want and also because it would be super nice of you!
So, sometimes you might have a new book coming out and you might freak out that nobody will read it and that is when you make this soup and try to breathe through your nose and cry. Not like I know this personally or anything. Not like I’ve been doing it all week.
[ultimate-recipe id=”4531″ template=”default”]
Man Verdict: This tastes like hope.
Carrie Verdict: Exactly
Dogs’ Verdict: Please spill some on the floor.
I’m about to publish a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.